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Not Just for Kids
Thanksgiving Traditions Old and New
by Martha Blume
with thanks to George Washingtons Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
The Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians celebrated a three-day harvest festival in 1621. Was it the first Thanksgiving? Not exactly. To the colonists, a thanksgiving was a religious service giving thanks to God for some specific event.
A century and a half later, on Oct. 3, 1789, the new American nations first president, George Washington, issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation, designating for the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving to be held on Thursday the 26th day of November, 1789.
Seventy-four years later, on Oct. 3, 1863, president Abraham Lincoln issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation, following our first presidents example by marking the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
In 1941, Congress made the fourth Thursday in November a legal holiday.
Americans traditionally have turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. What did the Pilgrims eat? You might be surprised.
Can you choose foods that the Pilgrims might have had at
their harvest festival?
If you picked pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce or sweet potatoes, you are wrong. The Pilgrims didnt have sugar so they couldnt make cranberry sauce. Potatoes of any sort were uncommon then, and they ate their pumpkin as a vegetable. All of the other choices would have been available to the Pilgrims.
On Thanksgiving, Make Mayflower Favors
Whos coming over for your Thanksgiving dinner? You can make everyone gathered around your table feel special by making these easy favors that remind friends and families of the blessing you are to one another.
Walnuts in the shell
A bit of modeling clay or playdough
Pens, pencils, scissors, nutcracker
1. Crack the walnuts, trying to save the shells. This is tricky, and you may need to ask some adults to help. Youll need one-half a walnut shell for each guest.
2. Cut squares (about 2 inches x 2 inches) out of the white paper. Then cut the squares in half on the diagonal to make a triangular-shaped sail for each guest.
3. Write a guests name on each sail.
4. Poke the toothpick in and out through the sail to make a mast. Take a bit of clay and stick some inside each of the walnut shells. Stick a sail into each shell. Now you have your mini Mayflower. Place them around the table as favors.
5. Cut out more paper squares (2x2). As the guests arrive, give each guest some squares and ask them to write a short phrase of appreciation for each guest gathered, one per square. For example: I am thankful for Jack. He plays with me. I like when Grandma Wilson reads to me. Aunt Emma makes me laugh. Roll the squares up like scrolls and place them in the appropriate guests Mayflower ships.
After giving thanks for your food, give thanks for one another by sharing the words on the scrolls. Enjoy your friends, family and turkey.
Extend Your Thanksgiving Circle
Is there anyone in your neighborhood wholl be alone for Thanksgiving? Maybe you have elderly neighbors, or know someone in a nursing home or a college student or midshipman far from home wholl be without family. Invite them to join you for your meal.
Kids Stuff This Week
Monday, December 1
Kids ages 5-12 make a holiday magnet, painted candle and a moveable reindeer to take home. 7pm @ Provinces Public Library, 2624 Annapolis Rd., Severn. free: 410/222-1538.
Tuesday, December 2
Here Comes Winter
Kids of all ages learn to make a winter weather gauge. Bring mom and dad for a sandwich. Kids eat soup. 10:30am-noon @ Kings Landing Park, Kings Landing Rd., Huntington. $3 w/discounts; rsvp: 410/535-5327.
Wednesday, December 3
Tis the Season to be Jolly
Kids ages 2-6 make their own holiday craft to take home with holiday stories and music. 10am @ Edgewater Public Library, 25 Stepneys Ln., Edgewater. free:
Deadline: Dec. 8Kids 7-12 make Christmas ornaments and decorations for your home and tree on Dec. 13. 1-3pm @ Northeast Community Center, Gordon Stinnett Ave., Chesapeake Beach. $8 includes materials; rsvp: 410/257-2554.
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Calling Chesapeake Countrys 2003 Babies
Were collecting pictures of Bay Weeklys newest readers to spotlight on our last Not Just For Kids page of the year.
Send your favorite baby picture (with babys and parents name and address; babys birthdate; your name and address) to: Bay Weekly P.O. Box 358 Deale, MD 20751 (original photos will be returned) or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send digital photos in .TIF or .JPEG format at 150 dpi, no smaller than three inches wide.
Photos must be received by Thursday, December 18. Well send family and baby a souvenir copy!